When the Three Tenors came to Bath for what could be their last ever performance, local newspaper The Bath Chronicle milked the event to the full, writes Dominic Ponsford.
And the newspaper was rewarded with an unprecedented 50 per cent increase in sales. The open-air concert in Royal Victoria Park was watched by 12,000 people live and a further 22,000 on giant screens outside the main arena.
The Chronicle previewed the free performance of Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo by running coupons in the newspaper to enable readers to apply for tickets. The event was organised by Wessex Water to mark the opening of a £23m spa complex.
The morning after the concert, held on 7 August, the Chronicle hit the streets with a 16-page souvenir supplement. Four photographers, three sub-editors and three reporters worked through the night to get the Chronicle out two hours earlier than normal – at 8am the following day.
The Bath Chronicle has an audited circulation of 15,000 – this was pushed up by 30 per cent the day after the concert, and with orders of back-issues the sales boost was more than 50 per cent. The newspaper has also taken hundreds of orders for picture re-prints.
News editor Paul Wiltshire said: “We billed it as a once in a lifetime concert and that’s why we did what we did. Our editor David Gledhill had been involved in talks about the concert with Wessex Water from quite early on. “We were keen to do all we could to make it a real occasion for the people of Bath. The circulation boost was unprecedented in recent years.”